Former professor’s artwork on display in Farnham Galleries

by Blair BoydStaff Writer

Janet Heinicke, former Simpson College art professor, is once again gracing the college campus with her presence.

As of Sept. 25, Heinicke’s artwork has been on display in the Farnham Galleries, located on the third floor of Mary Berry Hall. It will continue to be on display until Oct. 20. Heinicke taught at Simpson until 2001, when she officially retired as a professor. While here, she was chair of both the Art Department and Fine Arts Division.

“She built the Art Department at Simpson,” said Dave Richmond, chair of the Art Department and assistant professor of art. “She initiated a lot of programs and did such a nice job when she was here.”

Much of Heinicke’s artwork derives from nature in one way or another, from a leaf of a tree to a landscape that covers her entire palate. She focuses on the little aspects of nature that are often ignored, including important details such as the color of a flower petal or the way it blows in the wind.

One of the rooms in the Farnham Galleries is devoted to watercolors while the other room is devoted to printmaking such as lithographs. Viewers can find some mixed media in the room with her printmaking as well.

“There is a nice dreamlike quality about her artwork,” junior Hannah Walter said. “She uses a lot of bright colors that draw your attention to her watercolors.”

Because of the dreamlike quality of her artwork, viewers of Heinicke’s work can often view it with ease and relaxation.

“Her overall design in her watercolors is very relaxing and all of her work is aesthetically pleasing,” junior art major Kate Juhl said. “I really like her layers of translucency.”

The common theme of nature in Heinicke’s work allows the viewer to closely focus on the details of her artwork, without getting distracted from painting to painting. They often flow well together.

“You do not need to be an art major to understand and be able to relate to her work,” Walter said.

Though the common theme in much of Heinicke’s work is nature, there are things within her paintings that viewers wouldn’t necessarily expect to see. In a couple of her pieces, she has strategically placed typed words that relate to what the viewer is seeing. This adds an element of uniqueness to her work.

Viewers will also notice that some of her work is based on things from other countries, such as Ukraine or China.

“You can certainly tell that she has done a good amount of traveling,” Juhl said. “She seems to be a very well-rounded artist. Her painting of the South China Sea and the Ukrainian Church are very beautiful.”

Heinicke has done a great amount of traveling. She has visited the Soviet Union, Cambodia, China and Ukraine, among other countries. Her countless travel has allowed her to develop her artwork from images of different areas of the world, giving her artwork originality and creativity.

Heinicke has participated in 68 one-person shows, 11 group shows and 11 juried exhibitions.

“She is a very talented artist,” Richmond said.

A forum event in support of Heinicke’s artwork being on display is being held on Oct. 16. Heinicke will give a presentation entitled “Small Space.” It will take place at 7 p.m. in Jordan Lecture Hall of the Carver Science building.